Thailand has reduced its 2022 economic growth forecast to 3.5% from a previous forecast of 4.0%, due to the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on global growth and inflation.
Pornchai Theeravet, head of the fiscal policy office under the Ministry of Finance, nevertheless told a news conference that the Thai economy will still be supported by higher domestic spending and a recovery in tourism, as well as exports.
Pornchai said, “The economy is still growing, accelerating from last year’s 1.6% growth, but there remain risk factors.” He added that the ministry is prepared to take fiscal and monetary measures to ensure continued and broad-based economic recovery.”
The ministry now expects exports – a key driver of Thai growth – to rise 6.0% this year, up from the 3.6% previously projected.
The tourism-dependent country is on track to receive 6.1 million foreign visitors this year, but below the 7 million projected earlier due partly to the impact of China’s travel restrictions and the Ukraine conflict on Russian tourist numbers.
Predicted tourist numbers would be far short of the nearly 40 million visitors during 2019, but a substantial improvement on the 428,000 foreign tourist arrivals in 2021.
The tourism industry generally accounts for about 12% of gross domestic product.